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6th February 2005Rorke's Drift - A full-size replica ?.
By Coll
This is just a general question to find out what the opinion would be about a full-size model of the Rorke's Drift buildings, including mealie bag defences, biscuit box inner wall, redoubt, etc., being built to the exact scale and details of the actual place during the battle ?.

After reading about the Alamo Village in the US, which is a full-size model of the whole Alamo Mission, just got me to thinking about Rorke's Drift and what it would be like to see it as it was back in January 1879.

I ask this question just out of curiosity.

6th February 2005Michael Boyle

As you no doubt know Alamo Village is an active movie set with no false fronts built originally for John Wayne's "Alamo" (it even includes a John Wayne Museum) in 1959 in the middle of a working Texas ranch.It has been the back-drop for many music videos and movies ranging from "Lonesome Dove"(Robert Duval) to "The Good Old Boys"(Tommy Lee Jones) to "Bad Girls"(Andie MacDowell and Drew Barrymore) providing a per-acre revenue exceeding "Happy" Shahan's (the owner) other 30 square miles.

With this in mind if one could find a location with a reasonable facsimile of the Oskarberg in a location with easy access yet removed from contemporary buildings and build a replica of the station as it was perhaps one could sort of reverse- engineer a new film.

At any rate I'd love to see it! (Of course some agreement would have to be reached on the lay-out of the hospital.)


6th February 2005Martin Everett
Dear Coll,
I know you have not been to RD. But I do not see anything wrong with the present location and buildings - it is very atmospheric - and with a good guide telling the story it is easy to visualise the famous defence. After all this was where history was made.
6th February 2005Neil Aspinshaw
I go with Martin on that, the ground at RD had large duckstones cemented into the lawn to show visitors the position on the barricades. The stone krall is original.
Both buildings were destroyed /repositioned but they do give an excellent feel of the original place. Indeed the doorsteps and verhanda slabs are I believe original.
Inside the museum there are several lifesize displays, the internal diorama of the men crawling through the wall is superb,
Mind you, forget replica's get yourself to Isandlwana, you dont even need imagination there, it hits you like a truck. Check out my 125 years of Isandlwana in the your stories section, it says it all.
6th February 2005Coll
Martin and Neil

Thankyou for your views on this subject.

I fully agree that nothing compares to the actual place.


Reverse-engineer a new film is along the lines of the role a replica of the Rorke's Drift buildings and defences, etc., that I had in mind.

However, I was considering the fact that any future documentaries about the battle at Rorke's Drift would then have a 'working model' for re-enactment groups to demonstrate the confined nature of the compound itself and also the inner-workings of the buildings.

Any replica would, of course, have to be historically accurate to appreciate how it looked in 1879, as any sort of film set tends to lack a lot of attention to detail.